Kitchen Adventures: Fancy appetizers with minimal effort

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Food column by Becca Owsley

By Becca Owsley

Two things often happen when planning a before-meal appetizer or appetizers for a party. You either can think of something unique that stands out with your guest or you get in a rut and serve the same thing you always do. If in a rush, the appetizer often comes from a freezer.


This week’s adventure includes two appetizers guaranteed to wow your guests with minimal effort.  

The first is a recipe for prosciutto potato poppers. Prosciutto is a type of cured ham often used in Italian cooking.   

To make the dish, toss new potatoes in the olive oil and garlic mix and then wrap them in the prosciutto. The recipe said to wrap each potato in a slice of prosciutto but I found half a slice was more than enough to cover the potato.

When I started the appetizer I realized I didn’t have any rosemary. As a substitution I decided to continue through the lyrics of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair” and used thyme instead. It’s a different taste than rosemary but you could probably use a variety of herbs on this dish and it still would work.

The prosciutto potato poppers not only turned out beautiful but a gathering of friends approved when I tried the dish out on them. They are very willing guinea pigs.

Another easy appetizer is a twist on caprese salad.

Using fresh basil, cherry or grape tomatoes and pearl mozzarella, build the appetizer on a tooth pick. This creates a colorful appetizer with the taste of a caprese salad in small form.   

You can get even more colorful by using a variety of colors of tomatoes.

A tip on serving appetizers is in the plating. I prefer a couple different methods.

Use dishes in similar color tones but different shapes and sizes. This gives a uniform look while still showing variety.

Another method is to use plates in similar shapes but in different colors. It still gives a since of uniformity with adding variety.

The third is use dishes that don’t match at all. Everyone has their own taste but in my head it either all matches or none of it matches. When everything has a common theme and one plate is different it throws off the entire look for me.

The right plating can sometimes make the simplest dish look like the fanciest one on the table.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.


Prosciutto Potato Poppers
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 1⁄2 pounds new potatoes (about 20 small potatoes)
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder 20 slices prosciutto
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic powder and salt. Add the potatoes, then toss well to coat. Wrap each potato in a slice of prosciutto. To do so, place the potato at one end of the slice, then roll. Press the prosciutto to wrap it snugly around the potato. Arrange the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the potatoes with the rosemary, then bake for another 5 to 10 minutes or until a knife easily pierces to the center of the potatoes.

Source: "High Flavor Low Labor" by J.M. Hirsch, found on www.ivillage.com

Caprese Salad on a Stick
Mozzarella pearls
Grape or cherry tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves

Place a mozzarella pear and a tomato between a ribboned basil leaf on a toothpick. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve.

Prepare shortly before serving because the basil may brown.

Source: A blog called Terri’s Table